Ty Herndon, Country Singer, Comes Out as Gay: “I Get to Be Free Today”

Ty Herndon
Country singer Ty Herndon came out as gay on Nov. 20, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I get to be free today" Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Ty Herndon is, as Kacey Musgraves would say, following his arrow. On Thursday, Nov. 20, nearly two decades after he first came to fame with the No. 1 hit single "What Mattered Most," the 52-year-old country singer publicly came out as gay in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

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Asked by ET correspondent Nischelle Turner to reveal the biggest lie he'd ever told himself — a reference to his 2013 album Lies I Told Myself — Herndon replied, "That I couldn't be gay and be in country music. I've dreamed about being in country music since I was 6 years old. It's my life, it's what I do, it's who I am, and I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be a country star." 

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The "Living in a Moment" chart-topper went on to tell ET that he's been in "an awesome relationship" with a man for several years. "I love him very much, and he loves me," Herndon said, joking that he hoped his not-yet-revealed partner would propose "right after this interview."

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The Nashville vet was married twice before, "to some really amazing young ladies," he told ET, adding that they "absolutely" knew about his sexuality. "I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at [the] time, and I was like, 'Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn't. So I'm gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'" he explained.

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No longer. Citing Musgraves' LGBT-friendly tune "Follow Your Arrow," which won Song of the Year at the 2014 CMAs, Herndon told Turner, "Traditionally in country music, we don't see a lot of support for the LGBT community, but that's changing so much…It gives me a lot of hope that Nashville is ready for this. I get to be free today. I'm born again today, and I feel like I'm not gonna have any trouble sleeping tonight."

For more from Herndon, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Nov. 20.

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